Writing About Writing: I Love Cake

So.

My writing life has been kind of crazy ever since I finished the first book in the WISHE Quintet. I’ve started plotting three different stories, but none of them are ready to write. And I’ve really kind of been procrastinating on editing the book. I’m moving on to editing a short story first, that I hope to release soon. You’ll be hearing more about that soon, for sure.

But I’ve been longing to write something. To just write. Which is why, on Thursday, when I got a story idea, I just started writing it.

Now, *cough* funny thing about this story idea. First of all, it’s a romance. That is definitely not my genre. I very rarely read plain romance, much less write it so I made be tweaking the story so that it’s not just romance. Second, after reading through what I wrote yesterday, I realized it’s not quite as awesome as I originally thought. Basically, this post by The Scribbling Sprite pretty much sums it up. 😉

But I’ve already written a little over a hundred words, which isn’t much, but is more than I’ve written in an entire month. I’m really, really excited about it.

At this point, you are probably very confused about the title of the post. Let me explain it to you now. The working title for this story is I Love Cake. Here’s my quick summary:

When Adelyn meets her new neighbor’s son, he insists they keep their meetings a secret. They talk to each other through the warped fence in between their houses. Since he insists on remaining anonymous, she calls him Cake. When his mother finds out about their secret meetings, Cake mysteriously disappears. It’s up to Adelyn to find out what’s going on.

And… That’s what I have so far. I’m working on it, people. Let me assure you that there will be cake in the book. And other foods. Because you can’t have a book called I Love Cake without having cake.

But as I started writing, I fell in love with my first line. It’s obviously a first draft, but still.

The first thing I remember of the day I met Cake was that my mom let me have the last strawberry Popsicle.

-I Love Cake, by C.B. Cook

I thought it might be interesting to assemble a list of first lines from my various ideas/works in progress. And then have a poll! Why not? So, vote for your favorite first line!

Here are short summaries for the books.

I Love Cake: Adelyn finds a new mysterious friend she nicknames Cake.

Ten Days: The story about how a girl spends her last ten days.

Glossophobia: Amanda’s stuck in Mr. Bullis’ speech class… and she just realized she has the fear of public speaking.

WISHE Quintet #2: Shhh… I’m not telling. 😛

The first line of a story is important because it determines whether a reader will keep reading or not. Awesome first sentences can pull you in, and poor ones can push you away. First impressions make all the difference.

Please note that all of these first lines are Copyright (c) C.B. Cook 2015. All Rights Reserved. Please do not steal. 😀

What’s your favorite first line in a book? If you’re a writer, what’s your favorite first line in the books you’ve written? Which of these stories and first lines most intrigues you?

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Writing About Writing: Cover Design – Part Two

Hi, everyone! This is my official post for the cover design for Paralyzed Dreams. If you missed my last post with cover design tips, go check it out! This post will give you a sort-of template for designing a cover, using the cover for Paralyzed Dreams as an example. I used Photoshop for my cover, so some parts may be different for you. Note: I am not an expert… and this might not work for every book. This is just a basic outline.

1: Find a picture. If you don’t know what picture you’re going to use, make a list of important items in your story. See Cover Design – Part One for more details on this. For Paralyzed Dreams, the main elements were volleyball, the wheelchair, and Pam. After a lot of searching, I decided on the wheelchair and found this picture:

wheelchair5

Look familiar? 😀

2: Next, find out what size your cover needs to be. Amazon KDP recommends that your cover be about 1000 pixels by 1600 pixels. If you’re going to put your cover on other sites, check to see what size they recommend. You may have to make several different covers, and you’ll have to make a separate cover for print books as well.

3: After you’ve figured out what size your cover needs to be, open a file in your cover-making program that is that size. This should be fairly self-explanatory.

4: Extra tip: Don’t mess with your background layer; leave it as is. This applies to all projects. Now that you’ve got your file, place the photo onto it. Move it around until you like how it looks. You can always move it some more later. (If you’re using more than one picture, this is where you would combine them. Maybe I’ll post on that sometime.) After this step, mine looked like this:

paralyzeddreamskindlestep4

5: Add effects so your cover doesn’t look just like a plain old picture. I added a black gradient to the top so my white text would stand out and some swirls just for a nice touch. 😉

Gradient

Gradient

Swirls

Swirls

6: Add your text. To make your cover look more professional, try using different fonts within the title if it’s two or more words. Also, change the size around. Always try to use at least two fonts. I used three: Print Clearly for “paralyzed”, Alex Brush for “Dreams”, and Portmanteau for my name. Try to use a font for your name that you can use on all of your books to create an author brand. That way, everyone can recognize your books and name.

The Final Product:

The Final Product!

I’ll probably do more posts on cover design at some point. There’s so much to cover! (Pun not originally intended…) What do you think of the cover? Like this post? Anything you want to know more about? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!